Let’s Be Unfriends!

How often have you heard statements like this on Facebook? “I unfollowed three nut cases on Twitter today.” “I will unfriend anyone who posts about X on my wall.” “If you post pictures of X on your wall, then I will unfriend you.” (That last one is an exaggeration; you can’t use italics on Facebook.) Now, there truly are some nut cases out there. When someone you don’t know is  posting the crazy to your wall or messaging strangeness directly… Read more

Today’s Aquinas: How Come I’m Not a Trinity?

We’re blogging through St. Thomas Aquinas’ Compendium Theologiae, sometimes called his Shorter Summa. Find the previous posts here. Having consider each person of the revealed Trinity in turn, Thomas now turns his attention to the Trinity as a whole.  The following is an admirably clear and concise summary of the last twenty or so chapters: We must conclude from all we have said that in the Godhead there is something threefold which is not opposed to the unity and simplicity of the divine… Read more

The Little Placard on the Wall: When a Picture Requires a Thousand Words

Here’s the thing: a picture, whether it’s a photo or a painting, is a picture of something, made in a particular context. You can appreciate a beautiful picture purely for its own sake, but knowing the context and a little something about the subject can enhance your appreciation…or, in some cases, make it possible to begin with. Read more

Today’s Aquinas: The Spirit Proceeds from the Father and the Son

We’re blogging through St. Thomas Aquinas’ Compendium Theologiae, sometimes called his Shorter Summa. Find the previous posts here. Every Sunday when we recite the Creed at Mass we say that the Holy Spirit proceeds “from the Father and the Son”.  In the early Church there was considerable controversy regarding the nature of the Trinity; the Arians, for example, held that the Son was not divine but was simply the highest of all creatures.  Others held that the Holy Spirit was a kind of… Read more

Mercy and Long Time Horizons

We Christians seem to spend a lot of time telling folks what not to do.  You mustn’t do this, you mustn’t do that, we say, or else you’re going to be a greasy spot on the pavement after the lightning strikes you.  At least, that’s the popular conception.  God is an angry God, and He’s just looking for the proper moment to strike you down, and we Christians are all down with that. There’s a kernel of truth to this… Read more

Today’s Aquinas: Why Yes, God *IS* Love

Since God loves Himself for the reason that He is in Himself as the beloved in the lover, God the beloved is not in God the lover in any accidental fashion, in the way that the objects of our love are in us who love them, that is, accidentally. No, God is substantially in Himself as beloved in lover. Read more

Missing the Decisive Moment: a Photographic Fish Story

Today is September 11th. I was going to leave the blog dark today, out of respect for those who died, and because I didn’t have anything important to say about the day that others won’t have already said. But then I decided, life needs to go on. If life doesn’t go on, the terrorists won. So here’s a perfectly ordinary post, of a sort I might post on any given Friday, dedicated to the victims of 9/11. Read more

We’ll Let You Know What Happens In Court

Here’s a wrinkle on the usual Nigerian e-mail scam that I’d not seen before: the letter from the “police”. INTERNATIONAL POLICE (INTERPOL) RC-32657, INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT COMMAND, LAGOS-NIGERIA E-mail; ———@gmail.com Tel: xxx-xxxxxxxxxxx Attention: Sir/Madam, We really hope that this message is coming to you direct and please immediately you receive this message do let us know because we need to cary on with this impostor’s work accordingly, My dear, we trying to call you to explained you on phone that we… Read more

Today’s Aquinas: What Does It Mean To Be Holy?

We’re blogging through St. Thomas Aquinas’ Compendium Theologiae, sometimes called his Shorter Summa. Find the previous posts here. One of the things that makes Thomas difficult to read is that he’s not writing from the ground up, explaining everything in minute detail; rather, he’s writing in a rich intellectual and philosophical context.  He played a major role in bringing that context into the mainstream in Europe, but in general his written works are not centered on it.  Instead they are centered on theological… Read more

Why Make Photographs?

And that’s the neat thing about photography.  There’s a lot of skill that goes into it: understanding focal lengths and f-stops and digital image processing and how to use your gear.  But fundamentally, photography is about seeing.  It’s about going out and looking around and seeing what you can see…and then figuring out how best to show it to someone else.  Once I’ve captured the image, sure, there’s a lot of technical wizardry that goes into making it look good—but even there, the final arbiter isn’t some intellectual standard, it’s my own eye, it’s me saying, “Yes, I like this.  I see beauty here.” Read more